July 12th, 2021

_Bad Tölz_ part 17

Then, the grav plate’s whine down to a normal hum, the infuriating boy lifted the plate and shoved it and rest of the load into the Beast.

“Are you all right to drive?” He crawled into the bed and started rearranging his stuff, the grav plate off and the heavy boxes holding the tarp down.

“Better than you! Fynn! What happened?”

“Some Japanese World decided we looked tasty. They opened a portal in the Plaza and, that I saw, got at least ten tanks through, took over the plaza and they brought in truckloads of stuff, heading to the southwest.
“We finally managed to shoot up a truck coming through badly enough to shred, and close the portal,
hopefully damaging the equipment. They withdrew to the southwest, which makes we worry about the airport.”

“Yikes! Fynn  . . . what are we going to do? There’s one road to Fey, one road to Hammermeister, which goes right past the airport . . . and a road to the east to all those little mountain resorts.”

“Yeah. I’ll bet the road to Fey is stuffed full. Hopefully not targeted.” He slithered out of the back, grabbed his pack and rifle, and staggered around to the passenger side.

Helly closed the tailgate and walked around to the drivers side. “Fynn. I need to know if you stole all that ammunition, and those weapons I totally did not see.”

“I did not steal them . . .” He sighed. “The late Director of Alliance Intel, Lord Roman Decker, my biological father had a stash. He showed it to me. And sometimes brought home . . . interesting tech he captured from . . . well, I don’t know where. Lord Lorenz knew about some of it. And showed me how to program a couple of things.”

“That ID card.

“Right, high security clearance, over fifty years old, so if there was . . . if he died, I could get his estranged nephew in to run the estate and protect Jana until I was really fifty. That was last fall, before . . . well that wire thing. Have you got it?”

“Yes. That’s not an illegal ID card.”

“No. It’s an illegal counterfeit ID chip. It just gets stuck under the scalp, no zivvy at all. I, umm, well, I programmed it to read as a Exec chip, registered to Helwig Jana Hammermeister, aged twenty, sold three times, now owned by Hab Dich Private Investigators.”

“Ah . . .”

“Sorry, I sort of got carried away.”

Helly emptied her pocket full of keys, the ID card, and snatched the packet with the wire thing. “Stick this under my scalp right now!

“Pull over into the liquor store parking lot up there.”

A swipe of an alcohol swab, a sudden numbness . . . and Fynn was having her hold a wad of cotton to her scalp.

“Mind you, I haven’t the faintest idea how you’d explain yourself if you ran into your family.”

“Oh that’s easy. One of my father’s cousins, Rüdiger, had nine daughters and five sons. I’ll just claim to be one of his daughters, and stomp my foot and yell about how no one ever remembers me.” She blinked away tears. “I was going to run away and pretend to be perpetually sixteen. I had it all worked out, so this is perfect.”

He sort of lunged in and gave her an awkward kiss, leaving her blinking while he walked inside the store. Returned with boxes of cheap wine, and bags of stacks of small disposable cups.

“Jana says Vater has abdominal and spinal cord injuries.” Finally a faint shake in his voice. “And that the hospital is beyond crowded. She said all the injured Cyborgs are out in the field beside the parking lot, with people saying they’ll get a doctor out there . . . soon. And still the rest of the people are waiting hours to see a doctor.

“She said Lorenz isn’t dying fast enough to get any attention.”

“But . . . more wine?”

“It has . . . do you know what a von Neumann’s is? Good. The wine in the bottle has a massive collection of healing potions in it, and it’s like a, sorry, magic von Neumanns. I’ll add a bit to the boxes of wine and then start distributing it, while I take some up to my Vater.”

Helly gulped. I always pictured Fynn as a superhero, not a super villain. Now I’m wondering if the difference is situational!

She put the car in gear and headed for the hospital.


The roads approaching the hospital were packed. Fynn had her turn into a gated entrance and used the counterfeit ID on the scanner. The gate lifted and she drove in. “How many laws am I going to break today?”

“Lots. Right. This is where they’re packing in the injured Cyborgs. Do a U-turn and park on the grass right there, pointing out enough that it won’t be impossible to leave if other people park here.”

Helly U-turned and parked. Fynn had sorted through the keys . . . “I’m going to leave you with one key for each vehicle, and take the others, in case we need to leave separately. Vater’s sedan is probably in the lot at the office, but Jana’s must be parked around here somewhere. Use them as needed.

“Now let’s get to work.” Fynn grabbed one of the wine bottles and hopped out. And popped the tops of all his boxes of wine and poured a little from the bottle into each box.

And grabbed boxes and glasses and headed for the orderly rows of cyborgs, laid neatly out and apparently abandoned.

No one said a thing as he started pouring the tiny glasses and handing them out. “Helly? Go over two rows and start giving them the medicine on both sides . . .”

Within a few minutes, drunken, but apparently feeling much better, Cyborgs were helping, and only the ones with serious leg injuries were staying on the ground. Fynn fetched more boxes from the Beast and took some of the cyborgs off to start from the other end.

Then there were some snapped orders and the Cyborgs were shambling into some degree of order and leaving her standing . . . almost empty box of wine in one hand, and the last of the glasses in the other . . . while a man in uniform stalked over to loom and glare at her.

What are you giving my troops?”

“Umm,” what did Fynn say? “This wine has a huge array of healing Impressions?”

 Gulp. Improvise! Fast! “It’s experimental. Not approved. Sir. In the emergency, he decided to deploy it.”

“Oh. He decided, did he?” Dripping sarcasm, as he pulled out a small . . .

A chip reader! Fynn . . .

Touched it to her head on the upper right side.

He eyed the reading and frowned at her. “So, tell me again, Miss Heilwig Hammermeister, who doesn’t appear to actually work for any sort of medical establishment. . . what are you giving my troops.”

“Sir?” Another uniformed officer, a medical patch on his shoulder. “Whatever it is, I want it. I can feel the Impressions, and soft tissue injuries . . . I can damn well see them healing and the scans show fractures healing as well. Three-fourths of the Cyborgs are back on their feet, with no other medical care.”

They both turned to look at her.

“Start talking.” The officer loomed.

“My owner rents me out most of the time; I’ve been doing clerical work and clean up for this lab, and when those explosions started, and then we heard about the situation here, and the head guy . . .  Umm, Wolfram Rembold, told me to come with him and . . .” She waved at the field of mostly standing Cyborgs. “We dosed everyone.”

The medical officer was frowning at the box of wine in her hand. “With cheap wine.”

“He added something to it. He called it a, umm, von Neumann’s?”

The medical officer flinched back. “Where did he get it? Did he create it himself?”

“I don’t know.” Helly swallowed. Where did Fynn get this stuff?